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A&r A60e ???

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by alfablue, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. alfablue

    alfablue
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    I have an A&R Cambridge A60E amplifier of 1979 vintage. It needs a repair that Arcam say they can do for £35 (plus postage, so maybe £50-60).

    I am wondering if it is worth repairing, and how it would compare with a modern amp, and if anyone could suggest current models that would offer similar performance (quality, rather than specification, as that's fairly clear).

    whoops - I guess this may have been better placed in the Arcam forum (though I wouldnt expect the A60E to compare with any current Arcam, of course)
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Richard....you're looking at a £50-60 repair for your amp,as you said.....to equal it's sound quality,you'd have to spend at least 2-3 times that if you buy a new amp,and even then,you're right in the lower end of budget amps.

    The sound quality of the A60 always tended towards being a bit bright,certainly very much so if driven towards it's limits,so it very much depends on what you want to spend,and if you were happy with it's sound prior to the fault.
    If you can go to £300,the Marantz PM7200 is superb,and has the bonus of being able to switched into Class A for a lower output,but really excellent sound quality.
    In the lower price ranges,the Rotel and Marantz amps are good choices again,but you're still looking in the £150+ range.
     
  3. karkus30

    karkus30
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    I used to own one of these and never found it bright, it tended towards a warm, smooth, almost muddy tone with a flabby bass. I played it through MS pageant 2s which were very brittle sounding and it seemed to pair quite nicely with them (for their time). I had the old Arcam cd player too.

    This is where you might have a problem, choose another amplifier and you might compromise the rest of your system. Modern amps tend to have more detail and attack, I should know, I bought a Naim Nait 3 when my A60 gave out. It sounded terrible, shrill, brittle etc until I changed the speakers.

    Also, are you using vinyl, the A60 had quite a good phono stage, so you might need to consider that option.

    I wont recommend amps, too many WHF 5 star best buys have taken me up the wrong path. Alex is right about the amount you will have to pay to better the original sound.
     
  4. alfablue

    alfablue
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    Thanks for your replies

    I have an AV system, (Yamaha RX-V596 receiver, Pioneer 656a DVD, and Eltax Chroma speakers, A12 Sub). I was thinking firstly about putting my Rega Planar 3 through the A60E rather than the Yam, then maybe add a dedicated CD player.

    I wonder if the Rega will be better through the A&R, and whether it will work okay with the 2 front (floorstanders) Chroma's. I also wonder if it will be okay to "biwire" (well, I know not literally) the speakers to two different amps (keeping the bridging connectors in place of course). Finally I am wondering if a dedicated CD player would be done justice via the A&R or the Yamaha.

    Lots to ponder.
     
  5. alfablue

    alfablue
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    Oh, just to add, I have never heard the amp with these speakers.

    It used to be hooked up to Audiomaster MLS4's (I think!) (probably a long-defunct speaker brand) and a Thorens TD160 Super / Hadcock / Elite deck, but hasn't been in use for several years. Ah, those were the days...I had hair then!
     
  6. karkus30

    karkus30
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    The A60 will walk all over the Yamaha with Vinyl and CD. Its smooth enough not to cause any problems with the Eltax speakers. Cinema amps are not at their best with pure audio signals and are best in a dedicated cinema system (there are a few exceptions in the very expensive end of the market).

    Not sure about the switching arrangements as I have always kept cinema and hi fi seperate, but there are several threads discussing that subject in this Forum.

    Might be interesting to dig the Thorens out as a comparison with the Rega. This is a bit of a classic turntable. Have a look through the internet sites for imfo, it may just be a better TT than your Rega.

    Cant comment on the audiomasters, never heard them, but I think they produced a LS3/5A model speaker used by the BBC, very nice speaker if thats what it was. That would certainly be better than the Eltax's.

    If you dont want to repare the A60 (it was a bit of a unreliable beast) and you like the sound, then a secondhand Sugden A48 (I think) is pretty close.
     
  7. overkill

    overkill
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    If you want come "up to date" with a similair sound, scour e-bay for one of Arcams newer offerings. Although the modern Arcams are much more forward than the laid back A60, and subsequent Alphas and Deltas right up until the Delta 5, they are still very easy on the ear by comparison with the Marantz or Rotel/Nad offerings in the budget arena. I would try and grab an Arcam 290 as these are fairly cheap, but watch out as they often don't have a phono stage. However, the Creek phono stages keep popping up 2nd hand and these are VERY good value for money.

    The Rega sounds nothing like the Thorens (a mates had both!) and with a modern cartridge (due to its better tonearm) the Rega can deliver much more detail, but perhaps a less "smooth" sound. The TD160 is a classic though, and with a better tonearm...........

    I would be tempted to move on, but as karkus says beware matching a modern amp with old speakers - they don't mix!! A new Arcam will give you a wealth of detail compared to your A60 and still keep as sound roughly compared with what you're used to. But, its your choice!!! Have fun!!

    :)
     
  8. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Most people change the tonearm, the Hadcock arm was really meant for tuntables without much in the way of suspension, which is why older uni pivots went out of style (however these are making a welcome return in a modified state, yes, even Hadcock has a new arm :eek: ), most people would just fit something like an RB300 as a stock budget replacement.

    Then its 'watch ourt Planar 2' :)
     
  9. alfablue

    alfablue
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    Thanks - some interesting feedback. Unfortunately the thorens died in a freak "ceiling falling in during a heavy raintorm" accident in my flat!

    The ausiomasters were MLS4's - They cost about £250 back in 1979, they are "large" bookshelf speakers, about twice the size of the LS3/5A's. My son has these at the moment so I may try and repatriate them (probably will cost me though!).
     

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